New left turn into YMCA raises concern

Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

Doug Dean wrote with a question about a southbound left turn lane that is being built into the YMCA at 5201 NW 34th St.

“I ride the RTS to Shands from here and my house backs up to 34th so this could really impact my household,” Dean wrote in an email.

The project is being done by the Florida Department of Transportation to improve safety and traffic flow, said project spokeswoman Laurie Windham.

“The YMCA gets a lot of people turning left there. It backs up traffic and there have been a number of accidents over the years,” Windham said. “It's for safety and also for traffic convenience.”

Work began Tuesday and will include widening the road by six feet on each side to allow for the new 12-foot left turn lane, replacing the guardrail between Northwest 30th Terrace/52nd Place and Northwest 29th Terrace, and upgrading drainage.

V.E. Whitehurst & Sons Inc. of Williston has two months to complete construction, provided the weather cooperates. Motorists can expect lane closures weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, public open houses on two projects will be held by DOT.

A “drive through” open house will be Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. in Alachua on the south side of U.S. 441 west of Interstate 75 on a new southbound entrance ramp.

The ramp is proposed to be built at the former site of KFC and will enable motorists who are eastbound on U.S. 441 easier access to southbound I-75 with a right turn. They currently must turn left and then circle up to I-75.

“We call it a drive through open house because they can just come through in their vehicle. We'll give them a flyer and answer questions,” said district DOT spokeswoman Gina Busscher. “If they want to come out and look at the plans, we'll have everything outside under a tent.”

An open house will be held Thursday on the University of Florida Campus Greenway, the last phase of the Archer Braid Trail that will eventually link Archer to the campus.

“We are working on the design, and that is what we would like the public's input on,” Busscher said.

The campus greenway open house will be from auditorium in the Doyle Conner Building at 1911 SW 34 Street from 4 to 6 p.m.

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